Maybe not, but I think that your opening post was phrased pretty much in the way of a self-fulfilling prophecy ie. Alfas are by definition unreliable ergo my large expenses.
I can see that actually ......but if i thought that i wouldnt have bought one but this is the problem with writing things down and not talking to someone , its hard to get accross what you mean with written words . Some one can always take it out of context .I keep saying this , ive never said anywhere that i dont like Alfas and the GT is a beautiful car and a very capable and comfortable cruiser and i spent lots and lots of hours cleaning and keeping it looking nice. I took the wheels off to clean and polish and painted the calipers red and kept them spotless.
You mention premium branding, which IMO has more to do with your big bills than anything. My last car (the one with the sticking rear brake calipers, which I will mention the name of now) was a Jaguar X-Type, which I learned very quickly to treat as a Ford Mondeo when it came to buying certain parts as every retailer would price the same part differently depending on how much they thought the customer had to spend.
Alfa is compared to BMWs etc as its held in the same catagory as cars in that upmarket sector. And rightly so ,and with these cars you expect to pay a bit more to keep them but i didnt expect it to have so many niggles.
Some examples - starter motor - if you said it was for the Jag it was £375, for the Mondeo £85 yet the part numbers on the item are identical (the boxes and external part numbers differ). Brake calipers - £400 Jag, £125 Ford. Drop links - £35 Jag, £12 Mondeo. Seat squab clips - £7 Jag, 50p Mondeo......and list goes on to brake pads, shock absorbers etc. etc.. All identical parts but priced differently to take advantage of customers who thought they were investing in a premium brand or not...
I totally agree with you , and i tried to find a good local independant but couldnt . The one i got recomended just didnt want to know , they never even got back to me with a price for the service and pads and EGR . Plus i wanted the cam belt changing with the waterpump as i was looking long term with the GT. But ended up using main dealer as nobody seemed to want to do it without me having to travel miles.
You said you rate Vauxhalls - well, the 1.9 diesel engines fitted to Astras and Vectras are 100% identical to the one in your departed GT. I suggest you go compare the relative quotes for EGR valves and inlet manifolds for both cars
I do rate the ones ive owned....ive never owned a 1.9 diesel vauxhall . Ive had a couple of 1.8 petrols , a 2.2 petrol , a 3.2 petrol , a 2.0 turbo petrol and i currently run a 1.7 cdti astravan which ive had for 3 years and is now 7 years old and is a superb workhorse.